Riding the Peloponnese Peninsula
The Peloponnese peninsula reminded us of the California coast in many ways. The winding roads up into the mountains, the coastal drives, the flowers! As we toured the Peloponnese peninsula, we saw huge trees reminiscent of the Sierras and snow capped peaks that could have been plucked from the Rockies – totally unexpected. Many of the twisting roads took us through quaint towns, at one of which, Dimitsana, we found many great cafes and restaurants. The restaurant we eventually chose fed us two fantastic meals that were deeply rooted in Greek cooking.
The roads were in decent shape for riding a motorcycle, but one of us had to keep an eye on the road at all times for changing conditions. We did get a little turned around going through one town on what looked like a paved goat path, and attempted to get help from some townspeople. One girl, arguing with her father, swore she knew English. After a lot of arm gesturing, her nodding, we were still lost, hot, and on narrow roads that went either up or down on a heavy bike. We eventually left them and found our way out. Some experiences you never forget.
We rode quite a few switchbacks on our way to visiting Olympia, Tripoli, and then over the Nafplion on the coast. One particularly great stop was down a winding road to a small Greek church and then a hike down to a monastery that clung right to the cliff face! With more time we could have ventured further south to Kalamata and the beautiful coast down there, but there was so much to see and do in the heart of the Peloponnese peninsula that we had a hard time choosing what to see! If you have the chance to see this part of Greece, do it. It’s far less congested than many of the other areas and is amazingly beautiful, especially in Spring.